Controversial Stephen Harper satire set for Ottawa debut
A controversial, satirical play about Stephen Harper is set to make its Canadian debut in Ottawa.
Proud, a comedy, is set in 2011 just after the Conservatives secured majority status in the House of Commons. It follows a prime minister as he sets about his "course of unprecedented fiscal conservatism," and also a new Quebec MP, formerly a St-Hubert manager, "a woman with a certain charm," according to the GCTC website.
It was written by Canadian playwright Michael Healey, Tarragon Theatre's former writer-in-residence.
But Tarragon opted not to run the play for cautionary reasons, said GCTC's artistic director, Eric Coates.
"When you look at how a non-profit theatre is set up, if they had indeed faced a lawsuit they would have had to shut down and it would have amounted to an enormous amount of lost revenue with no way to replace it," Coates told CBC News when the GCTC schedule was announced earlier this year. "So it was simply a cautionary measure."
Since then, Coates said, Healey hired a lawyer to find out whether the play was libellous, and the lawyer didn't find that it was.
And the play isn't quite as incendiary as some may believe, Coates said.
"I think Stephen Harper would be surprised at how the definitely leftist view sees his position. I think he might even be pleasantly surprised," Coates said, adding that he hopes Harper will show up.
"It would be nice if he did," he said.
Healey said the play, being put on by Ottawa's Great Canadian Theatre Company, is nothing but an insightful look at the lives of Canadian politicians.
Learn more about the play, which debuts Sept. 10, by watching the video above.